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November 15, 2011
• Stadio Olimpico, Roma
Referee: Duarte Nuno Pereira Gomes
S. Fernández 3'
Shots on Target
The game finishes Italy 0-1 Uruguay after an early goal from Fernandez. It was a game Italy totally dominated from start to finish, but just couldn't break down that Uruguay defence. I've been Alex Mott, do join me on Saturday when I'll be covering Inter-Cagliari and Fiorentina-AC Milan from 18:00 GMT. Bye for now.
90' + 6'
And that's it! Ten man Uruguay have beaten Italy at the Stadio Olimpico!
90' + 5'
Yellow Card Giorgio Chiellini
90' + 5'
A long Chiellini throw is cleared. Uruguay have everyone inside their own box!
90' + 3'
90' + 3'
Balzaretti crosses from the left, but Pazzini's header is saved easily by the 'keeper.
90' + 1'
There's five minutes of injury time being played here in Rome, Italy looked like they're going to need 55 to score.
Italy are putting all sorts of pressure on the Uruguayan back line. Pirlo has two bites at the cherry, but Coates blocks everything coming his way.
And it's Uruguay with the ball. And they're keeping hold of it very wekk. Cavani holds it up, and plays M.Pereira down the left, who runs the ball into the corner,a nd stays there.
Yellow Card Néstor Muslera Micol
Can Uruguay hold out for these last five minutes. By the way this game's gone, you'd have to say 'yes'.
A handball outside the area, results in a red card. The free-kick though is wastefull from Pirlo, as Balotelli heads it well wide.
Yellow/Red Á. Pereira
RED CARD URUGUAY
The resulting corner is again, utterly useless.
It's Balzaretti this time. A chipped ball from De Rossi on the edge of the area finds the Palermo left-back, and he, with two touches, chests the ball and then fires a shot towards goal. Muslera though, is equal to it, and tips it wide.
Still Italy have possession of the ball, but still Italy waste a good period of play. Uruguay have been brilliant at the back, it has to be said.
Maggio, who has two attempts at a cross, decides on the third try to play the ball square to Pirlo; he, in only the way he can, switches possession, and Balzaretti crosses with his second touch into a crowded box, but Muslera comes and collects well.
Italy are definitely playing in more of a 4-3-3 now, but with Balotelli out wide on the left flank, they're not having quite the same attacking intent as the first half.
A free-kick to Uruguay is whipped in to the 18 yard box, but Cavani, who rose highest, headers wide.
Matri, the substitute, has his first effort. A one-two with Pepe doesn't quite come off, and the blocked pass comes straight back to Matri, who hits the ball first time just outside the area, and just outside the post.
A fantastic passage of play by Italy culminates in Balotelli passing the ball off his back towards Balzaretti. It goes out for a throw-in, but for him, that's probably better than a goal.
Pablo Daniel Osvaldo
Coates for Uruguay saunters wonderfully through the Italy midfield, but like a proper centre-back, blasts his pass straight out of play for a goal kick. Wonderful stuff.
Italy's fifth corner of the game is a shocker from Pirlo: straight over everyone's head and out for a goal kick. Uruguay are loving this!
Uruguay have kept up their bright start, but it's still Italy with all the possession. This time a beautful ball from Pirlo finds Pepe surging forward. His first time cross from the left finds Osvaldo, but he shoots over from 18 yards.
Maggio with another tireless run down the right. This time though, he doesn't cross, he goes for goal himself, but the shot hits the side netting. Wonderful stuff from the Napoli man.
A wonderful Pepe chance. A surging run from Maggio brings him square with the 18 yard box. His low cross finds Pepe, and the Juventus forward shoots first time, but Muslera gets down well to save.
I have to say, Tabarez's side have started this second 45 in much the same way they started the first: bright, lively and committed.
Cavani with a chance. A cross from the right finds the Napoli man, but his header, from 12 yards, is saved by Bufon, diving to his left.
Italy are under pressure here. Some naive play along the backline, is cut out by Cavani; but some last-ditch tackling from Ranocchia prevents any attempt on goal.
Yellow Card Mario Balotelli
@laissezfoure on Twitter has proclaimed: "Vamos Uruguay!" With Italy's wayward finishing, you could be in for a good night.
Pepe, who has come on for Montolivio, has his first touch; but that first touch is a wayward pass to Maggio.
And they're off! Uruguay kick start the second period, and lose the ball almost straight away.
And they're out!
Uruguay are playing mind games, and are leaving Italy on the pitch waiting. They've been out for at least four minutes now.
Again, if you're on that thing they call Twitter, do contact me @alexjmott. Anything to do with tonight's game, or anything that may be on your mind (football-related of course) is welcome.
A quite baffling first half is brought to a close then. Uruguay score within the first three minutes, and then do nothing else for the rest of the half. Balotelli has had a few good chances, but Uruguay are breaking up the game quite magnificently. Join me in 15 minutes for the second half.
That'll be that then. The referee blows for half-time here at the Stadio Olimpico.
Free-kick to Italy. Again for a foul on Balotelli. This time, a deep ball from Pirlo drops at the far post, but Uruguay clear and go on a brief counter-attack. It's broken up by a foul on Caceres 40metres out though.
THE BALL IS IN ITALY'S HALF. Italy win back possession though, and clear up field.
Yellow Card Edinson Cavani
@jjm940 has sent me a private message on Twitter complaining that "I haven't mentioned Uruguay once in this LIVE report." Well, other than that 3rd minute goal, they've done literally nothing except kick Balotelli.
Balotelli is in the mood tonight. A run and cross down the right by Maggio finds Balotelli. The ball though is slightly behind the Man City man, but with a touch and swivel, he strikes the ball low at goal, only for the 'keeper to save.
Fantastic link-up play between Balotelli and Montolivio around 30metres out, but Maggio, who provided the over-lapping run, miscontrols and the ball runs out of play.
The resulting corner is whipped in from the right by Pirlo, and Osvaldo, who rises highest in the 18 yard box, flicks the ball wide of the far post. Unlucky.
Yellow Card Diego Lugano
Balotelli, for the second time in the game, is completely floored in the centre of the park. This time, a free-kick is given, and a quick ball from Marchisio finds Balotelli who firesat Muslera, and the PSG man pushes it wide.
I have to say, at this point in the game, I do not know how Italy are losing. They have had over 70% of possession, and numerous attacking phases of play. But, as it is, Uruguay lead 1-0.
More Italian possession. This time, a long, diagonal ball from Pirlo, finds Osvaldo in space, but his header across goal, doesn't find the on-rushing Montolivio, and Muslera, picks up the loose ball.
A fantastic cross on the left-hand side from Uruguay ends in Chiellini clearing for a corner. The resulting ball though, is cleared easily by Rannochia, and Italy have possession once again.
Yellow Card Á. Pereira
Balotelli goes down after a strong challenge from Lugano, but no fee-kick is given. Uruguay preceed to lump the ball up field, and out for an Italian throw in, in their own half.
Yellow Card Martín Cáceres
A corner from Pirlo is whipped into the near post, but is cleared by Godin only as far as Pirlo's right foot. He clips in another ball, but again, it's cleared by the Uruguayan defence.
It's early in preceedings, but this Osvaldo-Balotelli partnership is looking poor. For about third time already, Osvaldo receives the ball to feet, but Balotelli is nowhere to be seen.
Osvaldo with his first chance. A cross from the right by Montolivio finds the Roma forward, but his looping header goes wide of the target. The Uruguay defenders all raise their arms for offside, but no decision is give.
BALOTELLI WITH A PILEDRIVER! But this time, the 30m strike is saved by the opposition goalkeeper. It was very nearly two goals in two games.
Italy toy with the ball a bit too long between the back four, but are bailed out by a foul on Chiellini by Cavani.
Chiellini meanders forward and passes a square ball left to Balzaretti. His deep cross, aimed towards Balotelli, is too long though, and goes out for a throw-in. Better from the Italians.
The possession is all Italy's now, but they're making nothing of it. Some cute passes down the left flank between Pirlo and Balzaretti are put to an end by a tough-tackling Lugano.
Pirlo sprays the ball out wide for Maggio, who manages to aqueeze in a cross; but the ball is tame and Uruguay clear their lines.
A blistering start for Uruguay, quite fantastic stuff form the South American champions. Italy look like they don't know what's hit them!
Goal S. Fernández
GOAL FOR URUGUAY! Balzaretti loses Caceres down the Uruguay right, and Sebastian Fernandez sweeps home from the resulting low cross. What a start for the South American champions.
And Balotelli has the first effort of the game. A one-two with Marchisio is executed beautifully in the centre of the park, and the Manchester City forward lashes his shot from 18 yards straight at Muslera. Great start.
It's Italy, from left to right, who get us underway.
@fernandorevetri on Twitter asks: "where can I watch the game? I hate minute-by-minutes." Touche, my friend.
The national anthems are being sung with gusto here at the Stadio Olimpico. Less than three minutes till kick-off.
As always, if Twitter floats your boat, do get in touch with me @alexjmott. I very rarely bite.
Ten minutes to go until kick off here in Rome. Once again, the main story from tonight's game is the record-equalling 112th cap that Gigi Buffon will eanr tonight. That puts him level with Dino Zoff, and you can't have any higher praise than that!
As for Uruguay, Pereira and Rodriguez come in for Ramirez and Gonzalez; whilst Fernandez starts up front in place of the injured Suarez. Ez, ez, ez.
Both teams have made three changes from their previous starting XI's tonight. For Italy, Maggio and Balzaretti come in at the back to replace Criscito and Abate; whilst Pablo Osvaldo comes in up front in place of Gianpaolo Pazzini.
Tonight's game, although not the most important, should be a very interesting battle between two in-form sides. Italy are on the back of a six-match unbeaten run, including an unbeaten Euro 2012 qualification campaign. Whilst La Celeste haven't lost in their past 12 games, including a winning performance this summer in the Copa America. You'd be a fool to go elsewhere!
Uruguay meanwhile are: (4,4,2) Muslera; A.Pereira, Lugano, Caceres, Godin; M.Pereira, Perez, Arevalo, Rodriguez; Fernandez, Cavani.
The team news for tonight's game was confirmed yesterday: so far Italy, the starting XI is: (4,1,2,1,2) Buffon; Maggio, Chiellini, Ranocchia, Balzaretti; Pirlo; De Rossi, Marchisio; Montolivio; Osvaldo, Balotelli.
Kick off is in 45 minutes time, but meanwhile, if you have some time to kill, do read Kris Voakes' brilliant article on Gigi Buffon reaching a record-equalling 112 caps. That's the main story for the Italians, but for the visitors, the big news is the injury to four-goal hero Luis Suarez. he picked up an injury in their last game against Chile, and will not play tonight.
Evening one and all. Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE, minute-by-minute coverage of Italy - Uruguay. I'm Alex Mott, and I'll be your reporter this evening. As always, if Twitter's your thing, you can contact me @alexjmott. I'll try and respond to everyone, but please, be nice.
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